Recurring Payments - PayPal Gateway Configuration

PayPal Standard is included with Easy Digital Downloads, so no installation is necessary. If you wish to use it with Recurring Payments follow the instructions below.

Configuring PayPal

It's important to follow all steps laid out in the PayPal Gateway you are using.

PayPal Standard Documentation

PayPal Pro / Express Documentation

Important Setup Note: If IPN and API are not properly configured, subscriptions will not work properly.

PayPal Pro Requirement

If you are using PayPal Pro, follow these steps (at the bottom of this doc) to configure your PayPal Pro account. If using PayPal Standard or Express, you can skip this step.

Canceling Subscriptions

Cancelling subscriptions is done in a variety of ways depending on your site setup and situation.

Note: If you do not see the option to cancel subscriptions, please ensure you have entered your PayPal API keys. If you still do not see the option, please see the Old PayPal Accounts section below.

Canceling as a Customer

There are two ways a customer can cancel a subscription.

1. From your store's account page

2. From a customer's PayPal account. Click here for PayPal's instructions.

Canceling as a Site Administrator

There are two ways to cancel PayPal subscriptions as a store administrator.

1. Within Easy Digital Downloads

To be able to cancel a subscription, you MUST enter your Paypal API information. Refer to Configuring PayPal at the top of this document for detailed instructions.

Navigate to the subscription in question.

  • Go to Downloads → Subscriptions
  • Locate the correct subscription and click View.

Click Cancel Subscription button on subscription pages within Easy Digital Downloads.

2. Within PayPal

The page for managing subscriptions in PayPal is here: https://www.sandbox.paypal.com/billing/subscriptions

Or, from your PayPal Dashboard, go to Pay & Get Paid → Subscriptions.

Then click Subscriptions to see your PayPal Subscriptions.

Click the Subscription ID to view the subscription details, then click Update. Update options will appear with Cancel being one of the options.

Updating Credit/Debit Card Information

Customers can update their card information, but how they do so depends what PayPal version you are using on your site.

PayPal Standard / Express

If the subscription was purchased via PayPal Standard or Express, the payment information needs to be updated via the customer's PayPal account. Click here for instructions.

PayPal Pro

If the customer checked out using PayPal Pro, the card information can be updated on your store's Subscription Management Page

Multiple Subscription Support

Only one subscription may be purchased per transaction with all PayPal products. The customer may have as many subscriptions as they wish, but each must be purchased in a separate transaction.

If the customer attempts to put more than one subscription into the cart and check out, they'll see a notice explaining that this does not work.

Important Note: As of November 1, 2019, PayPal no longer supports creating multiple subscriptions in a single purchase. See our blog post for more information.

PayPal Pro Account Requirements

Using PayPal Pro with Recurring Payments requires some specific configurations in your PayPal account.

1. Make Sure You Have PayPal Pro

Installing the PayPal Pro extension for Easy Digital Downloads does not mean you're automatically using PayPal Pro. PayPal Pro costs $30/month; you can set it up by calling them.

2. PayPal Legacy Account

In order to use PayPal Pro with Recurring Payments your PayPal account must be a "legacy" account. There isn't a perfect way to determine if your account is Legacy, but one clue is to look for a menu item in PayPal called "PayPal Manager". If you have this, then you are NOT a Legacy account.

If you're unsure if your account is Legacy, the best way to find out is to contact PayPal's support team by phone.

If your current account is not a Legacy account, a new account will have to be created for you. This new Legacy account can be created by calling PayPal and working with their support team that way. 

3. Enable Direct Payment Recurring Payments (DPRP)

This is required and you must call PayPal's support team to enable it for your account. DPRP costs an additional $30/month.


FAQs / Troubleshooting

Why is the cancel button not available?

For the cancel button to work, IPN and API have to be properly configured and working. Most often with PayPal Standard, the cancel button will not appear if your API Username, Password and Signature are missing or incorrect. Review all steps laid out in our PayPal Standard documentation to confirm API and all other settings are properly configured.

Renewals not updating due to having an older PayPal Account.

PayPal has been around for a long time and has made numerous upgrades to its systems over the years. If your PayPal account was registered before 2009, you may need to upgrade your account before fully utilizing Recurring Payments.

If you have an old PayPal account, check the  Profile ID field on a subscription’s details screen. Normal IDs will start with an uppercase “I” followed by numbers and letters, e.g. I-nnnnnnnnnnnnnn. Subscriptions created with old PayPal accounts start with an uppercase “S” instead, e.g. S-nnnnnnnnnnnnnn.

If your store’s PayPal Subscriber IDs start with an S, you will need to contact PayPal Merchant Technical Services and notify them that your account is still using out of date subscription IDs and request they update your account.

Pending or Failed payments from PayPal Express In-Context purchases

If you notice a customer that has a "Pending" or "Failed" payment from attempting to purchase a recurring product using Paypal Express In-Context, it could be that they navigated to a new tab while the pop-up was loading. The customer must not navigate to a new browser tab while the payment is loading. Unfortunately, this is a limitation in the way Paypal Express In-Context works.